Pygmalion effect and us

I just watched a video on a phenomenon called the pygmalion effect. It basically means that people are likely to meet the expectations others set for them. For example, if for some reason as a coach, you expect one of your players to be good at sports, you will compliment them and give them more attention, which will make them love playing sports and perform better. That way they reinforce your beliefs about them and the cycle continues. 

On the other hand, if you expect them to be bad at sports, maybe because of a mistake they made or a preconceived notion you have about them, then you will criticize them more and compliment them less. This will make them feel less motivated to play, enjoy playing less and will then perform poorly. 

In order words, if you set low expectations for people, act in a way that makes it obvious that you have such low expectations of them (like not motivating them, always criticizing, not complimenting, not giving them tasks), they will likely meet those expectations. This is not some psychological BS. It is true. I have seen it happen so many times with others and with me.  

I can think of three implications; 

Firstly, Parents and teachers need to take note. When you expect kids to fail and treat them like failures, they just might become failures. You need to set high expectations for kids. Do not have low expectations for any of your kids. Motivate them to be the best at what they do. Know their strengths and encourage them. They will try hard to be the best because you have set a positive environment for them to thrive, which will motivate them. Yes, you can point out flaws, but not to in a condescending or insulting manner, but a corrective and loving manner. 

Secondly, Always try to motivate and encourage people around you whether as a family member, a spouse, a friend or a colleague. Its important. Humans are social beings and the people they surround themselves with have an impact in their lives. Let them know you know they can. It just might make a difference. 

Finally, we all need to try to break the power of pygmalion effect. Its wonderful when we thrive because we are in a positive environment, but that might not always be the case. We may find ourselves in an environment where nobody believes in us, nor cares. Or maybe they do, but they don’t show it well enough. Then, we may just fail. Its important that we learn to stop seeking validation from others. We should be our strongest motivation. We should have high expectations for ourselves and work towards achieving it for ourselves. And that can only be possible with self love.

In conclusion, we should learn to love ourselves to kill the need for external validation, and always try to motivate those around us.

Exclusive breastfeeding and in-laws

Hi readers, how has your week been? I have not been of optimum health this weekend so I wasn’t able to conjure something new and original. I call it lazy brain syndrome. However, I bring to you this very short story/ fictional write up/dialogue/health educational fictional scenario (I don’t really know what to call it) that I wrote for a friend of mine who needed to transform it to a script, make a very short video and share it on social media. I don’t know what happened to that idea, but it was a good one.

Side note: I wrote several of such fictional scenarios, so whenever I am unable to write something new or have lazy brain syndrome, I will post one of them here.

Bear in mind that I wrote this at a time in my life that I was extremely busy, so forgive the quality (My lazy brain syndrome won’t let me edit properly). Feel free to criticise and comment. It will only make me better. Continue reading

Psychological violence: The hidden form of violence

Hi readers. How has your week been? I hope it has been productive and satisfying.

This post is about domestic violence. Although, I used “her” and “she” when referring to the victim through out the post, its content still applies to both genders.  This post in no way dismisses the fact that men are also victims of domestic violence. Unfortunately, in our society, due to gender norms, men hardly ever report these incidences. I promise to write about the reality of domestic violence among men in another post.

Istanbul Convention defines Violence against women” as the violation of human rights and a form of discrimination against women and means all acts of gender‐based violence that result in, or are likely to result in, physical, sexual, psychological or economic harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.

The above definition is very long, but extremely vital. It details the several forms of violence and points out that violence is much more than physical harm. These details are absolutely necessary, because we often disregard psychological violence. Continue reading

Poetry: The light in me

Hi readers, its been so long. Too long. I have truly missed blogging. So much. Too many things have come up and taken over my time. Hence, the things I used to do and loved doing have fallen by the way side. Responsibilities, responsibilities, responsibilities… I won’t promise not to be AWOL again, because these responsibilities still exist, but I promise to try. I promise to be more committed.

This month, 11th Oct, the world celebrated International Day of the Girl Child to create awareness about gender issues that millions of girls face just because they are girls. Issues like child marriage, female genital mutilation and denial of education occur because of the existing gender norms in our societies. If society didn’t believe that a woman’s place was only in the kitchen, many girls would not be denied their right to education, or forced to marry at such a tender age. If gender norms did not exist, millions of girls would not have their genitals mutilated because it was considered unclean, or a means of promiscuity.  Continue reading

Something Extra

According to WHO, Nigeria currently has one of the worst healthcare systems in the world (187th out of 190 countries), despite having a large GDP and abundant mineral resources. Countries that are poorer are doing better with their health care system. We train doctors, but about 60% of them go abroad to work. Who can blame them? With the high workload and the small pay, doctors always want to seek better opportunities. What results is an even higher workload, for those doctors who have not yet had the opportunity to leave. Continue reading

World AIDS day; HIV and Gender

Hi readers. On 1st December, the world marked world AIDS day. Therefore, this post is about HIV.

I am writing this post with the assumption that we all know certain things;

1. HIV is transmitted through sexual intercourse with an infected person, through blood transfusion with infected blood, and through an infected mother to her child during childbirth, among other routes of transmission.

2. HIV is not transmitted through mosquito bites, sharing of spoons, toilets, etc.

3. Mother to child transmission of HIV during childbirth and breastfeeding can be prevented. It’s really not that difficult.

4. HIV treatment is freely available.

5. HIV is not a death sentence.

6. No one should stigmatise or discriminate against anyone because of their HIV status (or for any other reason). Stigma is bad. Period.

(NB: On second thought, I know a lot of people do not know not to stigmatize and discriminate. That will be a topic for another day.)

Now that I have written some of the things we all should know, I have to ask, do we know some of the driving forces of the HIV epidemic? Do we know that; Continue reading

Men and their prostates

Hi, dearly beloved. It’s been a while. My laptop crashed, got repaired and crashed again. I had seminars, term papers and many other engagements. Unfortunately, blogging fell by the wayside. but now, my laptop is up and running. And I think I have less to do, or I have been able to better manage the different engagements that I have. So, fingers crossed.

This post is about prostate cancer. It’s only fair, since I have ranted on about breast cancer and cervical cancer already. (That reminds me; Ladies, have you checked up on your breasts this month? Have you gone for your regular pap smear screening, or had your child vaccinated against HPV? If your answer is no to any of these, please do the needful).

Now, back to the topic. Prostate Cancer is a cancer that occurs in men only, because men alone have prostates.  There are other forms of cancers particular to men, like penile cancer, occurring in penises, and testicular cancers occurring in testes, but prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer among men, particularly among blacks, hence the focus. Continue reading

Breast cancer, “Jog for life”, religion and I

On Saturday, 8th of October 2016, the Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN) organized an activity to create awareness about  breast cancer in Ibadan. And I was a part of it. I always love such activities, by the way.  We wore customized t-shirts with “Jog for life” boldly written on it and jogged for 5 km. We jogged/walked behind a truck with speakers that played some nice and really loud music.   Continue reading

Accepting reality and mental health

I had a discussion with someone a few months ago about a man who was reported to commit suicide. I remember talking about how the man was probably depressed and how this may have led to his suicide. And I remember clearly that my friend laughed and said “But, Nigerians do not get depressed”. This is a typical opinion among many of us. We do not believe in mental illnesses. And if we do not believe it exists, how do we even begin to understand it?

Nigeria is in denial about mental illness. Continue reading

Ageism: Let’s respect our elders

On Saturday, Oct 1st 2016, the world marked the international day for older persons. This year, the focus was on saying no to ageism.

Ageism is discrimination based on age. All around the world, older people are viewed as a group of people with nothing to offer. We forget that they have lived long lives and hence, have acquired a wealth of knowledge, wisdom and experience along the way that they can share. We forget that they are human beings too, who have rights. Rights to whatever we have rights to.

As Nigerians, we respect the elderly and care for them. It is an integral part of our culture. We greet them. We cannot sit down if they are standing, hence we vacate our chairs so they can sit. We obey them. We do not call them by their names. If they are holding something, we collect it from them, because we do not want them to carry anything that’s heavy. And so much more. How nice. Continue reading